jenny trout

/Tag: jenny trout

Freeze peach, always.

Look, I know that censorship is bad. I know this, because there’s a whole amendment about freedom of expression in the Constitution. It was written by James Madison, who based it off a bill that Thomas Jefferson introduced in the Virginia legislature in 1779. So, the existence of this “erotic” short story fetishizing slavery and rape, about a real slave owner and the real woman he raped from the time she was a little girl is protected by a law that was originally the work of that slave owner who raped that little girl. Not only does this book exploit the rape and enslavement of Sally Hemings, it uses the historical political power of her rapist against her over a century later. Even in death, she’s being violated, but our laws say that we can’t violate the author’s rights to write and publish this shit.

–Jenny Trout on justifications.

Trout is talking here about the erotic ebook Thomas Jefferson’s Mistress:: Werewolf Fetish Vampire MILF Sex Slave. There was a bit of a wank storm around Trout’s criticism of this book, around the race of the book’s author, around the book’s actual content (apparently not containing as much Hemings/Jefferson smut as promised by the title… or, in fact, much smut at all), and around the fact Anne Rice got involved in the drama because why the hell not.

But, all that aside, I thought this quote from Trout makes an interesting point about the nature of institutional oppression and the racist history of western liberalism.

Something to think about, anyway.

2015-03-18T07:35:11+10:002nd April, 2015|Tags: culture, jenny trout, politics|

It’s not real until a man does it.

The cherry on top of the condescension sundae is when [JA] Konrath seems to imply that the ire directed toward him by erotic romance authors is one of financial envy. The concern was never that [his] book would sell so incredibly well that all of us would be out here wailing and gnashing our teeth in seething want of the same professional success. The concern was that Konrath had made the statement that a book like his couldn’t have been written (again, not published, not self-published, not successfully marketed, but simply could not have been written) ten years ago, because the “mindset” didn’t exist. And when faced with the overwhelming evidence that yes, the erotic romance “mindset” existed prior to the time he had the idea to make money off it, he chose to repeatedly ignore both the proof of that and his own words. He blatantly refuses to admit that the “mindset” that creates feminist friendly, kinky books existed prior to the time he believes it did.

–Jenny Trout on men “discovering” things.

A bit old now, but still. (And when I say “a bit old” I mean “by centuries, at least”.)

2015-02-04T08:38:45+10:0011th February, 2015|Tags: jenny trout, romance, writing|

Feeling vs. being.

But some of us don’t “feel” fat. Some of us are fat. We don’t have “all the right junk/in all the right places.” We have junk that magazines tell us they don’t want, as well. But our “junk” isn’t the stuff celebrated in songs written specifically to make us feel good. Where’s the anthem to the double chin? Where’s the song about back rolls, or fat aprons? Cellulite? Bingo wings? The message the media conveys to average-sized women is that they can be “fat” and still beautiful and valued, so long as they’re only  “fat” in culturally accepted ways. But what do women who aren’t “fat,” but are actually fat, get out of this? More body shame, not for being fat, but for not being a thin-enough fat woman with an attractive hip-to-waist ratio, and plenty of derision from those mid-sized women who feel under attack any time discussion of body image turns to criticism of the things that make them feel good.

We’re so concerned with protecting the women who “feel” fat that we steamroll right over women who actually are fat.

–Jenny Trout on being fat.

For the record, I’m more-or-less in the “fatcepptable” group1 Trout talks about and she is absolutely correct in describing the way the media works hard to reassure women like me that we’re “plus sized” but still “attractive”, all at the expense of women who actually are plus sized/fat.

The net result is shit all ’round.

  1. Size 14-16ish, but I’m slightly taller than average and have a Culturally Acceptable waist-hip ratio. []
2014-10-13T08:18:31+10:0028th November, 2014|Tags: culture, jenny trout|

The female gaze.

And that’s where Outlander is truly appealing to the sexuality of its straight female viewers. Instead of painting female pleasure on the male terms of the virgin/whore dichotomy, the audience is shown sex as a normal, matter-of-fact piece of the relationship puzzle. Sure, Jamie and Claire can’t get enough of each other on their wedding night, but their passion is forged by the connections made in the unhurried conversations that make up the bulk of the episode. Jamie is kind and Claire is emotionally conflicted, and their sex isn’t perfect or without fumbling. At one point in the now infamous wedding episode, Jamie stops mid-coitus to make sure he hasn’t hurt Claire. It’s a far cry from the violent thrusting and distressed shouts of a Game of Thrones sex scene.

–Jenny Trout on the female gaze.

This revelation is, of course, only shocking for TV audiences and not, one assumes, romance novel readers. (As Trout would know, being a romance novelist herself!)

2014-10-07T07:53:12+10:0015th November, 2014|Tags: jenny trout, pop culture|

“On”.

One afternoon during the last month of my senior year in high school, the dean of students called me into his office. I wasn’t in trouble, he assured me. He just wanted to talk to me. I was the goofy, loud, weird kind of kid who carried around crayons and coloring books in her backpack. I wore a ratty brown sweater every day. Sometimes I wore a princess hat, the cone-shaped kind with the little gauze streamer down the top. I was in drama club. I MCed the school talent show. I tried with all my heart to be funny and strange and to make people laugh. Beneath, I was as insecure as every other teenager, but I was so sure that if I covered it up with humor, nobody would comment on it.

The dean of students knew someone just like me, he explained. This kid had been everything I was: dramatic, silly, shooting out manic intensity all over the place. And during the last week of high school, that kid killed himself.

At the time, and for a long time after, I thought it was a funny story. Not the part where the guy committed suicide, but the fact that the dean of students thought he needed to confront me over the possibility that I would. I wasn’t going to kill myself. Couldn’t he see how happy I was? Sure, I was routinely self-harming and having uncontrollable manic episodes that often ended in panic attacks or broken furniture. But I was really good at covering that up, wasn’t I?

–Jenny Trout, on being “on”.

2014-09-04T21:13:54+10:0025th October, 2014|Tags: cw: suicide, jenny trout|

Fatcceptable.

In the fatcceptable zone, you’ll find women ranging from a US size eight to a US size fourteen talking about how big is beautiful, men don’t want sticks, real women have curves, etc. Lots of famous women have made bold statements about their size while living in the fatcceptable zone. Among them are Jennifer Lawrence, Never Been Kissed-era Drew Barrymore, and Kate Winslet before she started looking like Barbie’s hot mom (that’s a compliment, by the way). These are all women who do not fall outside of the normal range of sexually attractive bodies, but who don’t get described as skinny and who are expected to answer questions about how they feel about their “curves.” Holding women like this up as “plus-size” is meant to spread a message of body acceptance and positivity to women who aren’t the size two that [singer Meghan] Trainor throws out there, but who aren’t fat, either. To sum up, easy to digest anthems and slogans of this nature are meant to make women who think they’re fat feel good about the fat bodies they don’t have, while constantly reminding them that they should feel fat.

–Jenny Trout on “fatcceptance“.

2014-08-05T10:09:42+10:0015th September, 2014|Tags: culture, jenny trout|

Excuses as flimsy as three triangles of spandex.

I’m not stupid; I know why people didn’t want to see me in a bikini. But apparently, I seem stupid to the people who tried to discourage me. I wasn’t supposed to see through their excuses, or realize that the connections they were making were flawed. Our cultural discussion of fat bodies and how we clothe them has nothing to do with health concerns, the obesity epidemic or the comfort of fat people. It has everything to do with what we expect from women, what we’ve been told by the fashion industry and the value we place on “perfect” bodies.

The reason these people do not want to see a fat body in a bikini is because traditionally, that garment is something a woman earns by proving herself attractive enough to exist. If fat women begin wearing them without shame or fear, what’s next? Will they have self-esteem? Will they demand respect? Then what will keep them in their proper place? How would conventionally attractive people judge them?

–Jenny Trout wore a bikini and… a fair bit happened, by the sound of it.

2017-11-16T11:17:01+10:0027th August, 2014|Tags: culture, fashion, jenny trout|